Thanks to Jack Yam’s sharing with easy to follow tutorial and accompanying photographs, a lot of gardeners learned how to grow microgreens.
With Jack’s permission, his pictures and instructions are shared in this post.
Step 1 – Recycle any plastic container suitable for growing! Drill or cut holes at the base for drainage. This allowed excess water to drain from the soil.
Cut or drill holes for drainage
Not handy with electric drill, I re-used easier to cut soft plastic containers instead! Drainage holes were created by snipping corners with a pair of scissor.
Re-used plastic containers!
Step 2 – Fill only 1 inch depth of good gardening soil mix, customized or buy ready mix.
Fill and pat down soil
Step 3 – Water well, the medium should be very wet and then slowly drained from the holes we had cut/drilled below.
The soil is very wet
Step 4 – Sow seeds on the surface. Press gently on seeds to ensure that they touched the soil but were not buried.
Seeds are on the surface
Lesson learned from our own experience, DO NOT cling wrapped the container as mold will grow. However this is easily remedied with sun exposure after a few hours.
Our microgreens’ journal began on December 17 2017 following Jack Yam’s instructions.
We hope to grow many varieties of microgreens and be able to harvest fresh from our table top gardens!
Broccoli and Red Beet seeds from Gardeners Day Out event in Singapore
- Broccoli seeds germinated in 18 hours!
2017 December 18 at 2pm – Broccoli
Impatient to taste our first microgreens, we harvested on December 24 2017, exactly 7 days later.
Broccoli microgreens taste like broccoli
Jack Yam advised there is no fixed rule as to when microgreens can be harvested. They can be as young as one week old with a set of seed leaf or more mature 3 to 4 weeks. The older seedlings will have more leaves and better bite. Microgreens are generally eaten raw and however old they are when we harvest them, they taste really good.
Dec 29 2017 – Broccoli leaf
2 weeks old seedling
2) Red beet was our second microgreen variety to try .
The seeds are really cute as they looked like wholemeal cereal bites!
December 17 2017
Red beets germinated on December 19 2017, 2 days later.
December 19 2017 – red beet
First harvest and taste on Christmas day 2017!
Red Beet Leaf taste like beet!
Whole food grow at home made great snacks as well!
Red beets and broccoli greens!
Growing microgreens was really easy and fast to harvest.
In spite of their size, they packed a punch in nutrients, texture and taste.
Our grow rack of anti-aging, healthy and colourful microgreens is expanding! 🙂
2017 Dec 30 – Growing more varieties
One Time harvest –
- Spicy Taste – radishes, mustard/mizuna (wasabi tasting) , rockets
- Thai Basil
- Pea / dou miou
- Red Cabbage
- Red Amaranth
- Basil (green , purple)
- Pak Choy
- Chia seeds
- Water Cress
- Pumpkin leaves
Multiple harvests microgreens – cut will regrow
- Corn (Jack Yam’s tip – the white part of shoots are very sweet but the longer the shoot grows, the texture is fibrous)
Most leafy greens can be harvested early to be eaten as microgreens or let to mature to grow into salads. Thus we can use vegetables and herbs seed for microgreens. For example, any type of kale, basil, pak choy, amaranth etc.
Microgreens vs. Sprouts
They are not the same.
Sprouts are germinated seeds and harvested in 48 hours. Consumed sprouts are mainly the seed, stem, roots and underdeveloped light color leaves. Their ideal growing conditions, 100% humidity and warmth (27C/80F), sometimes carried risks of pathogenic bacteria. In Europe, consumers are often advised to cook sprouts before eating.
Microgreens are young greens and harvested from 2 to 4 weeks. Their growing conditions are completely opposite the sprouts conditions – high light and sun exposure, low humidity and good ventilation. They have 2 developed cotyledons (seed leaf) and partially developed true leaf. Usually consumed raw without roots as they are cut above soil level.
An USDA 2012 study on microgreens yield an interesting detail. The nutritional benefits of microgreens varied when its grown in artificial lights and natural strong sunlight. According to this study, natural sunlight will yield the maximum nutritional content for microgreens.